Summary: C.S. Lewis was puzzled by the apparently illogical behaviour of the characters in the Greek myth of Cupid and Psyche, so this book is his version of the myth, describing the motivations and circumstances of the people involved. It is written from the viewpoint of Orual, the sister of Psyche, and is an accusation of the unfairness of the gods during Orual’s lifetime, asking the reader to judge how cruel the gods were. The conclusion of the book is rather unexpected.
Strengths: A brilliant, yet very dark, depiction of human emotion in hardships, describing how people react when, for example, their loved ones are killed, or lose their minds. It raises many unusual questions about conflicting ideas, such as jealousy and love, and shows different events from different perspectives, making it a thought-provoking, well written, and interesting book that is remembered for a long time.
Weaknesses: The ending could be seen as somewhat anticlimactic, and does not completely fit or evoke the same sympathy as the rest of the story. Though writing a book that was simply a denunciation of the cruelty of the gods would not be quite in C.S. Lewis’ style…
Mama note: Judge the maturity of the kid. Might be seriously too dark.